Company Wayne McGregor: Autobiography (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Company Wayne McGregor: Autobiography

credit: Andrej Uspensk

Ambitious work of gymnastic grace against industrial chaos

'Your life, at any given moment, is fractured, multiplicative, felt,' says experimental choreographer Wayne McGregor. 'You are supposed to order it conveniently in time - and into something that makes narrative sense.'

But a person's story doesn't always follow logic, or avoid repetition or delays. So Autobiography, McGregor's amalgamation of his own writing, memories and influences (Meredith Monk, Merce Cunningham, social media and more) is a disjointed, non-linear arrangement of 23 pieces (to reflect the 23 pairs of chromosomes that contain the human genome.)

It feels occasionally over-ambitious; although it's deliberately not cohesive, the frenetic, evolving mix of different languages of movement and music can sometimes be alienating. When it connects, it soars with gymnastic grace, with bodies roughly repelling each other or tracing out soft, femme curves in the air with voguing arms.

American producer Jlin's soundtrack gives an industrial chaos and strange, uncomfortable energy to the production, lit up beautifully by Lucy Carter's dropped lighting rigs and geometric shafts of white LED light. Serene bursts of tropical bird calls and dripping water sounds contrast with the defibrillator-shocks of electronic rhythm, in a piece that's probably exactly as frustrating and rich as a piece about life should be.

Festival Theatre, 11–13 Aug, 7.30pm, £14.


  • 4 stars

What does it mean to write your own life story? Trailblazing choreographer and director Wayne McGregor has been radically redefining dance in the modern era with his own company, at The Royal Ballet where he has been Resident Choreographer since 2006, and internationally. He has an unmistakable visual style that pushes…